What Are the Different Types of Aviation Industry Jobs?

Nya Bruce

Aviation industry jobs cover a surprisingly wide variety of work. While some consider the most glamorous job to be that of an airline or military pilot, there are also many other types of careers to pursue in the aviation industry. These include flight attendants, aircraft maintenance personnel and air traffic controllers, all of which are essential for the entire industry.

The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.
The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.

The role of a pilot is one of the most visible of all aviation industry jobs. Pilots, also known as aviators, are responsible for navigating aircraft from one place to another. This can be for the purposes of transporting people or goods, search and rescue operations, surveillance, or even combat duty. Pilots can work for commercial interests, the military or law enforcement. Aviators fly fixed or variable-wing aircraft, as well as helicopters and blimps.

Tarmac and ramp handlers place ensure that boarding equipment is ready for incoming commercial flights.
Tarmac and ramp handlers place ensure that boarding equipment is ready for incoming commercial flights.

Another type of aviation job is that of a flight attendant. Flight attendants, also known as flight stewards and stewardesses, make up the crew of commercial airlines and private aircraft, and are responsible for the safety and comfort of airline passengers. An attendant's role involves a variety of tasks, including but not limited to verifying airline fare tickets, instructing passengers on safety precautions, tending to emergencies, serving food and drinks, and pre-flight safety checks. One of the perks of this type of job is the ability to potentially travel to many destinations around the world.

Radar technicians are a vital part of both commercial and military aviation.
Radar technicians are a vital part of both commercial and military aviation.

Aircraft maintenance is one of the most essential aviation industry jobs when it comes to ensuring the safety of airplanes and their passengers. All aircraft require periodic maintenance in order to function properly. Service technicians typically check aircraft after every flight for unseen damage and to monitor wear and tear. It is the aircraft maintenance crew's job is to repair any issues that they find.

Pilots of long haul, wide-body jetliners like the Boeing 747 are among the most experienced commercial pilots.
Pilots of long haul, wide-body jetliners like the Boeing 747 are among the most experienced commercial pilots.

Air traffic controllers are another highly essential part of the aviation workforce. Their task is to coordinate air traffic and schedule airplane take-offs and landings, and to generally manage airplanes in flight. This type of job can be exceptionally stressful and requires a high level of concentration while tracking incoming and outgoing aircraft.

Many engineers specialize in developing flight instrumentation for aircraft.
Many engineers specialize in developing flight instrumentation for aircraft.

Among the least visible of aviation industry jobs are programmers who write the software for avionics systems and air traffic control networks. Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design of aircraft and spacecraft, and like programmers they do not get the same prestige as a pilot or flight attendant. Flight instructors are also essential to the industry, in that they train pilots for civilian and military roles. Some flight instructors run their own training schools in the private sector.

Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.
Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.
Airship pilots fly today's non-rigid dirigibles over sporting events and public gatherings.
Airship pilots fly today's non-rigid dirigibles over sporting events and public gatherings.
Flight attendants tend to travelers on a plane.
Flight attendants tend to travelers on a plane.
A bush helicopter pilot may specialize in flying clients to remote ski or hunting locations.
A bush helicopter pilot may specialize in flying clients to remote ski or hunting locations.

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